WASHINGTON, July 23, 2019 – Airlines for America (A4A), the trade association representing the leading U.S. airlines, today announced that Kristine O’Brien has been named Vice President, Global Government Affairs. At A4A, O’Brien will be responsible for advancing advocacy priorities on behalf of A4A’s carrier members as well as the flying and shipping public.
O’Brien joins A4A from the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where she is currently Director of Outreach and Member Services for Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR). In that position, she has developed and implemented political and legislative strategy with Members of Congress and external stakeholders surrounding infrastructure and transportation priorities. Previously, O’Brien served as a legislative aide for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), where she worked on transportation, infrastructure and economic development issues. She was involved in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 which resulted in a five-year authorization of federal aviation programs and a three-year reauthorization of the TSA.
“Kristine will bring a valuable perspective to our advocacy agenda. She knows how to grow coalitions around policy initiatives and how to build meaningful relationships which are vital to generating effective dialogue and reaching consensus even on the most difficult of policy debates,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Not only does Kristine have a strong understanding of the legislative process at both the national and local levels, but she also has a solid understanding of the commercial aviation industry, having worked for two airlines earlier in her career.”
“Transportation has always been an interest and passion of mine, not only as a way of connecting people and shipping goods but also as an engine of our economy,” said O’Brien. “I’ve been immensely fortunate to work closely with a number of transportation leaders on Capitol Hill on issues that affect their constituents on a personal level. At the end of the day, policies are about people. I am eager to bring my legislative experience to an organization that is on the forefront of advocating for an industry that is critical to our national economy and impacts millions of people every day.”
Before working on Capitol Hill, O’Brien worked for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), United Airlines and Continental Airlines.
O’Brien earned a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California and has a BS in Business Administration from Boston University.
O’Brien will join A4A in September.
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Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.